A selfish boy has a change of heart in this predictable but pleasant picture book. At first, the narrator banishes a black bug, red bird, spotted dog and blond-pigtailed girl from his pristine sandbox. Yet after he grows lonely, he realizes his mistake: "Come back, black bug. Come back and waddle with me in the sand. Come back, red bird. Come back and search with me in the sand.... There is room for all of us." Jakob's (My Bike; Tiny Toes) repetitions welcome beginning readers despite her well-worn theme. But credit for the volume's fresh appearance belongs to illustrator/designer Gorton (The Gumdrop Tree). Her clean-edged, exaggeratedly geometric shapes and crisp colors appear computer-generated; in fact, as grainy, shaded areas suggest, she renders the images with airbrushed acrylics. Variable typography emphasizes Jakob's key words, and the large script is easy to follow with a pointed finger. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)
- Rae Valabek
A child learns about sharing a sandbox with playmates and some small animals. The simple colorful pictures and the repetitive language make this a good choice for early readers. The airbrushed illustrations are very appealing.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1A simple story about a young boy and his sandbox. Children will recognize the everyday situation, and the vivid colors of the airbrushed illustrations fit the text perfectly. Different visual techniques are used to indicate movement and textures so that readers can sense a bug waddling, a bird searching, a dog digging, and a child stomping in the sand. The youngster tells all of the intruders to get out. He gets in and imitates their actions by himself before realizing that there is room for everyone. The ending is satisfying, and the subtle message is a positive one. The economy of language and the visual clarity of the illustrations make this title an appropriate choice for story hours and for beginning readers.Anne Parker, Milton Public Library, MA